#1
I have been searching for hours on the internet about this subject. I have narrowed it down to 2 amps. The Roadster and the 3 Channel Dual Rectifier. I understand the cleans on the dual rectifier are crap. The thing that scared me about the Roadster is it sounds muffled, "dark" sounding, or it sounds like there is a blanket covering the amp. I really hate amps that have too much bass and that sound muffled. I usually turn the bass down all the way, the Mids about 1-2:00 and the treble to 3:00 or so. Most suggestions I am seeing about the Roadster is changing the tubes to El34's and power amps, also adding a overdrive. If I am going to spent 1400 dollars already on an amp (used) I really don't want to go through all that to make it sound like a Dual rectifier. I don't see anyone mentioning turning up the Mids,treble, and presence on the Roadster to take out the "Dark" in the amp. Am I better off buying a used Dual rectifier used ($900) and buying a head just for cleans ($200) or Buying the Roadster? Thanks for your help. I should also state I do not have a Mesa dealer that carries these amps so I cannot test them out myself.
#2
1. Unless you buy on the second hand market in the US (which you are doing, so good job on that!), both amps are overpriced if you ask me.
2. The cleans of the dual rec are not bad at all. I don't know who started this rumour, but it's bullshit.
3. When an amp sounds muffled, that is something you can solve 99.9% of the time by buying the right speaker cab for the amp. (not saying that it has to be the same brand, or cab designed to go with the amp, just the RIGHT cab with the RIGHT speakers).
4. I never got the point behind the roadster model. It's hardly an improvement on the dual rec, and it surely isn't as great as the road king. But you pay almost the same as for a road king (few 100 less).
5. Get an invader 2 :p
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Last edited by LP_CL at Oct 21, 2015,
#3
The Roadster is a Dual Rectifier, well at least in the Dual Rectifier Family.

First off I own a Roadster - the 212 combo version with Mesa V30's.

I'm not sure where you are getting all of your info. Let me try to explain a bit here.

I don't experience any muffling or blanket over the amp or anything of the sort at loud TV volume or above. If you are playing it whisper quiet then yes you need to work the EQ a bit but the issue is really with all amps that the speaker isn't moving much at all. You can still get it to sound good.

As for your EQ settings, a Mesa isn't a Peavey or Marshall. You really have to EQ with your ears and not your eyes. Think of the EQ this way:

Bass = Bass
Mids = Low Mids
Treble = High Mids
Presence = Highs

That's a better way for me to think of things.

I also EQ starting with all of the EQ set to 0 and then slowly turn up to get the Bass, Mids, Treble, and then Presence in that order, then slightly tweak if you need to.

Don't use too much gain. The Modern modes are designed to be modern metal.

The darkness you read about is more of a slight voicing of the Channels 3 and 4 on the Roadster which equate to channels 2 and 3 on the 3 Channel Dual Rec. It's a bit darker and more aggressive sounding.

IMO the benefit of a Roadster over a Dual Rec is in the versatility.

The Roadster is like having a Lonestar / Mark I / Dual Rec all in one chassis.

You have 12 Modes across 4 Channels with a few of the Modes being copies for alternate settings. The idea is you could buy the Roadster for any ONE of the tones (because of their quality) but you get all of the other tones as well.

Channel 1 - Clean, Fat, Tweed (Dirty Cleans to Blues to Classic Rock to Crunch)
Channel 2 - Clean, Fat, Brit (Rock to Hair Bands to Boosted Marshall)
Channel 3 - Raw, Vintage, Modern
Channel 4 - Raw, Vintage, Modern (But with the Presence geared towards the Modern Mode here)

Plus the 50/100W, Diode or Tube Rectification, Reverb, Spongy or Bold, FX loop always on or foot switchable.

The difference with the RoadKing is that the RoadKing runs both 6L6 and EL34 power tubes at the same time and you can assign per channel. The Roadster can run Either 6L6 OR EL34 power tubes but not both at the same time. The Pre-Amp and modes are the same.

OP, if you are not sure buy from a vendor with a good return policy.
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#4
A Roadster is like a Road King, with only the useful settings. Versus a 3 channel Recto, there's really no comparison IMO.

Not sure where you heard the Roadster is dark and muffled, because that's pretty much the definition of the 3 channel. I've owned several 3 channels and would never waste money on one again. The last one I had one probably the worst sounding amp I've ever had. No matter what I did to that thing, it always sounded like a mush of notes. No string definition at all. HATED that amp.

Recently, I owned the Roadster. Really enjoyed that one. Aside from the 2 channel Recto, which is far less versatile, it's my favorite in the Recto series. The RK is cool but has way too many options that I, and 90% of other people have utterly no use for.

I ended up trading the Roadster for a Mark V, because I wanted something different, not because it's a better amp.
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#5
Thanks for the replies everyone. I may be purchasing the Roadster. I'm looking for an agressive amp, with good cleans, at least 3 channels, with string definition and clarity in the distortion.
#6
I own Mesa Mini Rectifier and the cleans are stellar. When I've recorded triple rectos in the studio no one was interested in their cleans so I've never checked them but if they are similar to the Mini they're actually quite good.
For some reason I like the Dual Rectifier more than the Triple. Both amps are very good but it takes some tweaking to get your tone.
#7
The Roadster would be my choice, I had a hard time getting a sound I didn't like. My usual run through is to get a solid clean, think Gilmour, a punk tone, and a tight metal tone. The Roadster needed a little help to tighten up but was by no means a slouch. I just wanted something slightly different. That said... Gonna snag the first good deal on a used one that I can.
#8
Quote by MatrixClaw
A Roadster is like a Road King, with only the useful settings. Versus a 3 channel Recto, there's really no comparison IMO.

Hmm, not at all what I experienced... I noticed a huge difference between dual rec and RK, not so much with the RS. The RS had the same saggy low end as the dual, where the RK was tighter and less compressed at the same time. If I HAD to pick one of them, I'd go for the RK, but give me a mark V over all 3 of them please... And an invader 2 over any mesa :p
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#9
i am not a fan of 3ch recs at all. i really love my tremoverb. i would take it over a two channel dual any day. as far as the roadster v. roadking, i have no idea, but i agree that sometimes having too many features doesn't really help you as much as you think. the roadster is nice, but i paid $700 for my tremoverb (IIRC), and its hard to beat.

and i like that saggy low end. i also have a MKIV.
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#10
The Roadster seems like the perfect balance of versatility and usability. I don't need three channels and as such I got a Rectoverb combo, but if I DID need three channels, I think I'd look into the Roadster. The Rectifiers can get a lot of sounds, and I think people might think they are too dark because they don't spend the time to really get comfortable with their amp and understand it. An overdrive is a good idea to tighten up the low end, but I've found few amps that can't benefit from that (some Diezels like the Lil Fokker, and maybe some Engls).
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#11
Quote by LP_CL
Hmm, not at all what I experienced... I noticed a huge difference between dual rec and RK, not so much with the RS. The RS had the same saggy low end as the dual, where the RK was tighter and less compressed at the same time. If I HAD to pick one of them, I'd go for the RK, but give me a mark V over all 3 of them please... And an invader 2 Powerball 2 over any mesa :p

Agreed and FTFY.

While the 2 channel Rectos (Dual and Triple) were easier to dial than the 3-channel models, I don't see how some people dislike them so much.

I also had a difficult time bonding with the Mark IV and V.
#12
Quote by trashedlostfdup
i am not a fan of 3ch recs at all. i really love my tremoverb. i would take it over a two channel dual any day. as far as the roadster v. roadking, i have no idea, but i agree that sometimes having too many features doesn't really help you as much as you think. the roadster is nice, but i paid $700 for my tremoverb (IIRC), and its hard to beat.

and i like that saggy low end. i also have a MKIV.

I also really enjoyed the Tremoverb. That price is a no-brainer.

I couldn't stand the Triple Rec I used in rehearsals, though I've heard others who have made them work.
#13
Quote by Ippon
Agreed and FTFY.
Powerball 2 > Invader 2


I have both, and I easily prefer the Invader, although I think very highly of the powerball. I love to use them in a stereo setup. Sounds HUGE live.
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#14
Quote by LP_CL
I have both, and I easily prefer the Invader, although I think very highly of the powerball. I love to use them in a stereo setup. Sounds HUGE live.

The VH4's channel 3 is one of the sweetest ever!

I noticed that the used pricing for the VH4 and even the ENGL SE E670 are beginning to become more realistic although not the steal me now pricing when I got mine.
#15
xD I know
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#16
Quote by Ippon
The VH4's channel 3 is one of the sweetest ever!

I noticed that the used pricing for the VH4 and even the ENGL SE E670 are beginning to become more realistic although not the steal me now pricing when I got mine.


Beautiful!